5.7/10
20,284
183 user 109 critic

The Punisher (1989)

When Frank Castle's family is murdered by criminals, he wages war on crime as a vigilante assassin known only as The Punisher.

Director:

Mark Goldblatt

Writer:

Boaz Yakin

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dolph Lundgren ... Frank Castle
Louis Gossett Jr. ... Jake Berkowitz
Jeroen Krabbé ... Gianni Franco (as Jeroen Krabbe)
Kim Miyori ... Lady Tanaka
Bryan Marshall ... Dino Moretti
Nancy Everhard ... Sam Leary
Barry Otto ... Shake
Brian Rooney Brian Rooney ... Tommy Franco
Zoska Aleece Zoska Aleece ... Tanaka's Daughter (as Zoshka Mizak)
Kenji Yamaki Kenji Yamaki ... Sato
Hirofumi Kanayama Hirofumi Kanayama ... Tomio
Larry McCormick Larry McCormick ... TV Newsreader
Todd Boyce ... Tarrone
Lani John Tupu ... Laccone (as Larney Tupu)
Gianfranco Negroponte Gianfranco Negroponte ... Musso (as John Negroponte)
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Storyline

Based on the Marvel Comic, Dolph Lundgren is Frank Castle an ex-cop who lives in the sewers and acts as judge, jury, and executioner to the city's criminals in retaliation for the unpunished murders of his wife and kids. Frank's ex-partner Jake (Louis Gossett Jr.) finally catches up with the vigilante as he tries to stop the Japanese mob, which is trying to take over the city's mafia operation. Written by Matt Carlin <ghola@umich.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Judge. Jury. Executioner. All in a day's work. See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 1989 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Punisher See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut) (1990) (1995) | (Workprint Version)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (4 channels)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Robert Mark Kamen revised and re-wrote Boaz Yakin's original screenplay to make a few changes including adding a "Lethal Weapon"-like prologue which was filmed, but ultimately omitted in the editing room, only leaving flashbacks, like in Yakin's initial script. See more »

Goofs

(at around 27 mins) Punisher's sidekick misquotes Macbeth when entering the sewers. He says "Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble" when any thespian will know the correct line from MacBeth begins "Double, double...". See more »

Quotes

Lady Tanaka: I have an appointment and I will leave you in the hands of Mr. Tomino. He will keep you alive much longer than you care to be. Goodbye.
[Lady Tanaka turns and starts to walk away]
The Punisher: Hey
[she turns back]
The Punisher: Have a nice day.
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK cinema and video versions were cut by 1 min 21 secs with edits to violence including shots of bloody knife wounds, throat stabbings, an ear clap, a neck break, a hand severing and shots of a gun in a man's mouth. See more »

Connections

References Ms. Pac-Man (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Vicious Minds
Written by Harry Garfield
Performed by Hobo & Habby
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Cut this movie some slack! It's fun action!
18 May 2001 | by Aphex97See all my reviews

I watched this movie when I was a young kid and I remember thinking "...Eh..." However, while browsing Borders, I saw the DVD for $6.99 and decided to give it another shot. I expected a fun action flick with lots of explosions, death-defying stunts, cool death shots, and a badass lead character. I was not disappointed. After reading so many bad reviews here on imdb I decided I need to write a review defending this movie. I don't know what other people expected when they saw this movie, but I certainly didn't expect much more than a cool action flick, and that is exactly what "The Punisher" gave me plus maybe a little more.

First off, Dolph Lundgren's stiff acting and menacing demeanor make him perfect for the part of the hell-bent, socially backwards loner determined to punish the scum of the Earth (His significant acting shortcomings are his assets here). The writer and director did a good job of showing many different facets of his personality and actually created a deeper characterization of the Punisher than I would have expected. Louis Gossett Jr. plays his his part competently enough. In fact, the acting was not all that bad all around (suitable enough for an action flick).

The action here is also pretty solid. Some examples: The opening sequence where Dolph punishes the trash-talking mob boss and his henchmen with style. In one scene, Dolph is driving a bus with children in tow while a hundred Japanese are firing machine guns and crashing their cars into the side of the bus...way cool.

The plot is pretty standard revenge bit with some minor twists and turns, but the ending is pretty cool and less predictable than most action thrillers, but then again thats not saying much :-)

FINAL RATING: 6/10 I doubt it will make anyone's top ten list, but this low budget action genre flick delivers the goods with solid action and semi-interesting characters, which is more than I can say for many big budget Hollywood action flicks (e.g. Cobra, Mercury Rising, The Watcher, the Art of War). Its not a movie to be analyzed, its a movie to enjoy. Action junkies should dig it, others should probably stay away.


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